10 minutes with Kobi Israel

Interviews with Photographers April 8, 2013 8:30 am

When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer?

I never did, it just happened. I knew I am passionate about traveling the world with a camera, capturing moments and sights in order to share with friends and family (pre-facebook era), one thing led to another and I found my work in magazines and exhibition spaces.

 

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Who were some of the first photographers that inspired you?

I guess most young photographers from my generation primarily fall in love with the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson but it wasn’t until I saw Nan Goldin’s solo show in Amsterdam (or was it in NYC) that I grasped to potential of an image and the medium to shock and amaze at the same time. It was also Shopie Calle’s narratives and Philip-Lorca di Corsia image quality that influenced and shaped my interest in photography.

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Can you tell me about your series, Cuba! Love Story? You mention on your website the paradox that you saw between the masculine and homoerotic in Cuba and your experience of growing up in Israel. Can you expand on that? And do you feel that growing up in Israel has shaped you as a photographer?

I am sure everyone is shaped by his childhood backdrops and memories, even if only subconsciously. For me going back to Cuba was like entering a time machine, back to childhood but from an adult point of view. Looking a bit Latin, picking up on the local dialect and adopting familiar body gestures, I blended in. I made friends and lived in their remote country houses. I dined with their families and socialised with their friends, all the while walking the thin line between observer and participant, gathering homoerotic and homo-social experiences that were so familiar from my childhood. I even managed to capture a secret love story with my camera.

 

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

 

If you could go back ten years, what advice would you give yourself?

Not bothering myself too much with the technical aspects of the camera. For years I was horrified not to make the right exposure as I only used film and never was too sure of the results until I get the film back from the lab.

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Kobi Israel

Any words of wisdom for the up and comers?

Experiment, experiment, experiment!

(Kobi is based in London. See more work, here)

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